There is nothing quite so funny as an elderly, fat, aggressive man driving a white Porsche.
The “whiteness” and the “Porsche-ness” say it all. “I am important”. My “whiteness” and my “Porsche-ness” are what define me. I am Porsche, I am big and successful and the road belongs to me. The world belongs to me.
I had been walking a gale swept beach on a private estate on the East Kent Coast and there was no one around. The Sandwich Bay estate must once have been rather special but it now seems to specialize in brand new houses with expensive cars parked outside – to be seen. Vulgar, I suppose, is the word I am looking for.
I had walked for two or three hours in desolation, pondering apocalypse. I was happily soaked to the skin and poddling along at 20 miles an hour in a clapped out SUV with the heating full on. All was right with the world. I had been told (during four hours of humiliation otherwise known as a “speed awareness course”) that it was all right to drive at less than the speed limit. Indeed that it was often quite sensible so to do and so I found myself ambling at 20 in a 30 mile an hour zone. It seemed meet and right.
Sneer as I might at the awful speed awareness course I find (much to my surprise) that I obtained much of benefit from it. The importance of exercising more patience perhaps. The benefits of slowness – call it mindfulness, or awareness. In any event, weeks after the event I find myself more peaceful on the road, less inclined to get irritated. On the road so in my life. Slow, deliberate, sloth like. And aware – above all aware; attempting to notice every blade of grass, every cloud and ray of sun.
Carpe Diem as they say.
And so, much to my amusement, I saw this solid elderly man hurtling towards me in the middle of the road, doing perhaps sixty miles an hour. I was clearly expected to pull over and let this superior being pass in his great haste and importance. He had a bad tempered expression – or did I mistake it for mere self importance? I am not sure but in any event he had a hard stare set in a solid face, bewhiskered, and a balding head. And of course a white Porsche.
I wonder if we are supposed to be humbled by very expensive cars? Or humiliated perhaps? Or made to feel knee high? Or are we simply beneath the notice of the vastly important people who drive such superb carriages?
Boudica herself, the warrior queen, could not have made it more obvious that I was to cede, give way. Doff my cap; grovel.
Well I didn’t of course. There wasn’t really time. I went on the defensive and almost came to a stop. I don’t know how the fellow squeezed by at such speed but he did.
Are we talking here of the Mote and the Beam? Judge not, that ye be not judged? We might have been once upon a time in my brasher and more arrogant days. When I too might have driven a silly car.
No, I’m not judging the fellow. Just observing him; noticing. I don’t mind what he does. I don’t mind how he behaves or what he drives.
I just felt glad that on the whole I am able to remain outside looking in. I don’t feel superior or gleeful or cross. Just pleased that I do not find it necessary to dominate, or impress.